From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
Kosovo’s Government Unconstitutional, Country Goes to Snap Elections

The Constitutional Court of Kosovo ordered the Acting President to announce snap elections within forty days, after deciding that the vote of MP Etem Arifi on the government is unconstitutional.

Despite having been sentenced to prison with a final verdict, Arifi voted the government led by Avdullah Hoti on June 3. His vote was decisive in the forming of the current government, who received only 61 votes in the 120-seat parliament, the minimum number of votes required.

The decision of the Constitutional Court published on Monday evening, is based on the request of the opposition Vetevendosje, which claimed that the government of Avdullah Hoti is unconstitutional due to Arifi’s vote.

“Decision no. 07 / V-014 of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo on the Election of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, dated 3 June 2020, is not in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 95 [Election of the Government] of the Constitution, because the Government has not received the majority of votes of all deputies of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo,” reads the decision.

Etem Arifi, an MP with the Ashkali Party for Integration, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in April 2018 for appropriating €26,000 through an NGO.

He was due to start his sentence on 9 March 2020, but the court postponed it twice by four months in total due to his poor health. A third similar request was rejected in early July.

In August, a Pristina court issued an arrest warrant against Arifi, but he gave himself up on September 29.

Read more: Kosovo Constitutional Court Reviews Validity of Parliament’s Vote on Government